Blue Jays claim ex-New York Yankees catcher of the future Jesus Montero
The Toronto Blue Jays claimed the former New York Yankees/Seattle Mariners catcher of the future Jesus Montero off waivers today.
Montero failed in his attempt to make the Mariners 25-man roster out of Spring Training, with a triple slash line of .237/.256/.289 in 38 at-bats. That’s not going to cut for a bubble guy, who was battling Adam Lind and Nelson Cruz for at-bats at 1st and DH.
Adam Lind and Jesus Montero were expected to platoon at 1st with Lind getting the bulk of the time against RHP, with Montero hitting over .300 the past two season in Triple-A.
Montero has zero chance of heading north with the Blue Jays, what with Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak already cemented in 1B/DH roles. So he will need to be content with heading to the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A affilate the Buffalo Bisons.
With the Bison, Montero will share 1st base with Casey Kotchman, but could become the team primary DH in 2016. Montero hit .335 with 18 HR in 98 games for Seattle Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainers.
Montero possesses average power, with a chance for a high batting average. He doesn’t walk and strikes out too much. In 38 games in Seattle, Jesus walked in 3.8% of the time and struck out in over 27% of his at-bats. It’s been his inability to lay off pitches outside the strike zone that has caused Montero to fail in his attempt to become a major league ball player.
This is a good pick up by Ross Atkins. A low risk, high reward move of a guy who was once consider a blue chip, can’t miss prospect.
Last season, former GM Alex Anthopoulos signed Minnesota Twins castoff Chris Colabello to a minor league contract. Chris played 23 games for the Bisons to start the 2015 season, before being called up to Toronto where he slashed .321/.367/.520 with 15 HR in 101 games.
I’m not saying that Montero will turn into Colabello, but I’m not saying he won’t.
Closing statement: Between 2007 and 2011, Baseball America ranked Montero as the New York Yankees 1st and 2nd best prospect. He cost Seattle the oft injured, but ultra talented pitcher, Michael Pineda. Jesus Montero should used as a cautionary tale to those who attempt to predict a teams future off their Top Prospect Lists.
*Featured Image Credit: jcsullivan24-flickr-CreativeCommons